We Will Miss You, Pastor Ed

Things are always clearer in hindsight.

Last night I attended a memorial service of a very good friend. He was the associate pastor at our church a few years back. He passed away last Saturday after suffering from deep depression. He was only 47 years old.

I have so many fond memories of Pastor Ed. When I first met him, I thought this guy doesn’t seem to have any problems. His cheerful disposition was always very contagious. He never failed to make us laugh with his funny antics and ridiculous stories. As I got to know him more, I learned that his parents separated when he was just a small child. He later on lost his girlfriend during the tragic 1990 Baguio earthquake.  His life was full of disappointments. Yet, you never see any bitterness in him. Several years ago, I wrote Pastor Ed a letter. I told him how much I admire his zeal for life and the joy that he finds amidst his circumstances. He was truly an inspiration.

In 2006 we lost our first baby, Tyler.  Pastor Ed was among those who were inside the NICU with us during Tyler’s passing. He never left our side the whole day. He cried and grieved with us. I clearly remember Pastor Ed crying with me as I held Tyler in my arms. He wasn’t suppressing his tears and we cried as children would. He cried his ugly cry because I knew he felt our pain. That was the kind of person that he is. Full of empathy and concern for other people.

The last time I spoke with Pastor Ed was in February of last year. He called me up then and we got to chat a little.  Before we hang up, I said I will be in touch again soon. “Soon” never came.

When I heard of Pastor Ed’s passing, it truly broke my heart. I felt so much hurt and regret. I’ve thought of calling him so many times the past months but other things got in the way. I never knew that he was already in so much pain. I never knew because I didn’t make the time to call. Yes, things are always clearer in hindsight.

Dear Pastor Ed,

Thank you for being a wonderful friend. I am sorry that I failed to be the kind of friend that you were to me during your difficult days. I know that you are happier with the Lord now. We will miss you at our Young Professionals’ bible studies with every White Elephant exchange gift that we’ll have. We will miss your 2 gallons of melted ice cream that all of us tried to avoid. Thank you for the laughter, for the tears, and for the beautiful memories that you’ve left behind. I can only wish that we had more time together the past 12 months. This world is a sadder place without you.

We will miss you very much. You are so loved – more than you have known.


Last night I wanted to speak during the memorial service but was too emotional to do so. I felt so bad when we got home that I wasn’t able to share my fond memories of Pastor Ed. I thought ‘if only I can go back in time, I would have the courage to speak up at the service’…but then again, if I would be given the opportunity to go back in time, I would just go back to February last year and keep my word to stay in touch. Pastor Ed would have appreciated that more.

“We only miss the water when the well runs dry” Don’t take your love ones for granted. Pray for them, hug them, kiss them, and tell them you love them. Be an encouragement to someone today. Tomorrow might be too late.

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